Friday, September 4, 2009

The Obama Speech...

Some of you have read and/or commented on the post on my wall regarding the whole "would you allow your kids to listen to the President give a speech during the school day" thing.

My answer to this is no.

I find it appalling that I learned of the speech via the internet and have yet to hear from my sons school on whether it will or will not be shown. Please understand, I'm not against them listening to what other people have to say. I am against random people (yes, the President included) being allowed to address my children without my knowledge and/or consent.

I am all for my kids learning to make their own decisions. However. My kids are 3 and 5, I still control what they are allowed to watch on TV. Things like Spongebob Square Pants and Hannah Montana and Fairly Godparents are not allowed. We watch things like Word World, Auto B. Good, Pahapahooey Island, and Handy Manny. We do watch Dora and Diego but within reason and I censor those more often than most because they allow witches and spells and such to be in their programs.

I found an article, and I will include a link to it at the bottom of this, that details what people know will be said in the speech ... which is not much. All that has been said is that he will encourage them to continue their studies. That's sounds like a fantastic speech to hear. Until you realize that even the school superintendents were blindsided by this and they have no more an idea of what will be said than you or I do.

Not just that but the Obama Adniministration had originally included lesson plans to go along with the speech that suggested students write themselves letters saying how they can help the President. They later changed this to writing letters on how they can achieve their short and long-term educational goals. This was changed because it was "That was inartfully worded, and we corrected it," ... it wasn't reworded. It was totally changed. Those 2 phrases are completely different from each other.

One quote from the article says, "Arizona state schools superintendent Tom Horne, a Republican, said lesson plans for teachers created by Obama's Education Department "call for a worshipful rather than critical approach."" ... I have serious issues with someone trying to get my kids to worship something or someone other than God and God alone. A school superintendent can see that something that is a product of this supposed speech appears "worshipful". The Bible says to have NO OTHER GODS ... that means we don't worship anyone or anything besides God. This includes but is not limited to the President of the United States... no matter who holds that title that person is not God nor should he/she be treated as such.

That, and if it's such a big deal for the kids to listen to him why on Earth would the agenda be kept secret? That is, why has most everyone been blindsided by this? Why not let the parents in on it? Why not just say, "hey, I want to talk to your kids about this, this, and this"?

Another quote from the article says, ""Hearing the president speak is always a memorable moment," he said. But he also said he understood where the criticism was coming from. "Nobody seems to know what he's going to be talking about," Perry said. "Why didn't he spend more time talking to the local districts and superintendents, at least give them a heads-up about it?" ". Um, yeah. There are many, many issues there.

The schools are required to show lesson plans, have their calendars a year in advance most places, and to approve any outside speakers yet the President thinks he can railroad the rules and procedures because he's the President. I don't think so. If anything he should be held to a higher standard because of his role. He shouldn't be the exception. He should be an example and "follow the rules" as outlined BY THE GOVERNMENT HE LEADS....

And for the record, the Bush Administration did something similar in the early 90's and recieved tons of flack about it. We don't remember all the things that were said about it then because we were like 10 years old. Now that we are older and our own kids are being subjected to this we have opinions.

Here are some quotes from the article. The link will be at the bottom.

Districts in states including Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia, Wisconsin have decided not to show the speech to students. Others are still thinking it over or are letting parents have their kids opt out."

As far as I am concerned, this is not civics education — it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality," said Oklahoma state Sen. Steve Russell. "This is something you'd expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein's Iraq."

Critics are particularly upset about lesson plans the administration created to accompany the speech. The lesson plans, available online, originally recommended having students "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president." The White House revised the plans Wednesday to say students could "write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals." "That was inartfully worded, and we corrected it," Higginbottom said.

PTA council president Cara Mendelsohn said Obama is "cutting out the parent" by speaking to kids during school hours. "Why can't a parent be watching this with their kid in the evening?" Mendelsohn said. "Because that's what makes a powerful statement, when a parent is sitting there saying, 'This is what I dream for you. This is what I want you to achieve.'"

"Hearing the president speak is always a memorable moment," he said. But he also said he understood where the criticism was coming from. "Nobody seems to know what he's going to be talking about," Perry said. "Why didn't he spend more time talking to the local districts and superintendents, at least give them a heads-up about it?"

Alright. Here's the link to the article I've been quoting.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day!

Have you really ever paid attention to the groundhog adage? If he sees his shadow it's 6 more weeks of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow it's 6 weeks til spring. And 6 weeks from now is March 21 (give or take 2 days) which is the official 1st day of spring. If he doesn't see his shadow it's not like winter stops for 6 weeks and then 'boom' it's spring. :)


Melancholy. This is how I feel when I'm expecting something to happen and it doesn't. Could also be called disappointment but melancholy flows off the tongue better and has a more distinct meaning behind it. It is also part of my personality according to those personality tests. I'm melancholy and either phlegmatic or choleric. I can't remember. And now I'm either going to have to find the results of that test or take it again. Either way, I know that if I have my hopes up even the slightest bit for something and it doesn't happen I get really low really fast. I try not to show it and do a good job of hiding that unless it's face to face then I suck at hiding it. But I'll still tell you nothing is wrong and that I'm okay. Really I'm not. I usually cry myself to sleep.


When you hear the word biology what do you think of? I think of life. Animals. Genetics. Things like that. I do not think about cells and atoms and molecules or the periodic table. Which is apparently what my Biology instructor thinks we should be learning. I am so lost in that class. Lab helps but it's a different instructor than I have for lecture and there are students with several different lecture instructors. So we are doing things that correspond to things we learned a week prior. So, the things I'm getting and understanding are things he taught the previous week which still makes me a week behind. Oy. This really frustrates me because next to English science was my strong subject. But, that was high school and that was 10 years ago. It doesn't help that he starts every lecture with 'you probably touched on this in high school chemistry'. I didn't take chemistry in high school and even if I had that was TEN years ago.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

An Influential Person

Despite the winter weather that recently closed schools for several days, my English instructor managed to send homework assignments via email with the adage that life keeps going and so does college. One of the assignments is to write an essay about an influential person in my life. Good influence or bad. The person has to have been alive in the last 25 years and cannot be a religious figure. I have to tell how this person has helped me learn not only who i am but what i want. That being said, there are obvious choices in relatives. Parents. Grandparents. I even considered redoing a piece I wrote on one of my aunts a few years ago but I have no idea where that one is now. So, I started writing about a very good friend of mine. I got at least halfway through it after just 30 minutes ... once I figured out who to write about.

As I'm writing this though, it occurs to me to write about someone else. Someone whose path crossed mine for only a blip in time but left an everlasting mark on my life. I can't tell you his name, or his wife's, because I don't remember them. I can't even tell you if either of them are still alive today. They were fairly elderly when I met them over 10 years ago.

The very first job I ever held started in March of 1998 and was as a pharmacy associate at Drug Warehouse in Broken Arrow. It started as a May's Drug and was transformed over the almost 2 years I was employed there. We had a customer who came in on a fairly regular basis for his wife. Sometimes she was with him but most often not. They were older, 60's or 70's, and had spent their lives together starting about age 17. Normally the pharmacy is one of the busiest departments of any store, especially a drug store, but one day he came in when I had absolutely nothing else to do. I went out and sat beside him on the bench and will never regret that decision. I learned more about life in the 10 minutes I spent talking with him than I've learned before or since.

I asked him how he met his wife. I will never forget the story I heard that day. It was the middle of the 1940's. They were both at a Fourth of July party with hot dogs, and cotton candy, and other vendors swarmed with multitudes of people. He was with a couple of his friends just talking and hanging out when all of a sudden she was in his arms. Her friends had lit fireworks under her chair and she jumped, straight into his arms. His words that day as he told his story with a smile on his face and tears in his eyes are words I will always remember. He said, 'I held on to her and never let go'. Those words, the wistfulness of his voice, and the faraway look in his eyes as he told his story encompass the definition of what I believe life is all about. It's holding on and never letting go of what you believe in, of your dreams.

There are things in life that are concrete, responsibilities we gain as we grow up and go to college, get married, have a career or kids or any combination of these things and more. The one thing I walked away with that day was not to just hold on to every moment given to you but to reach out and grasp those things that might otherwise hurtle past.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Life ... sometimes that's just the way it is!

Sometimes I really hate situations. I will forever be in debt to my parents for allowing the boys and me to stay with them for so long. Truthfully, it's for the boys and I'm allowed because who else would take care of them. Except apparently I'm not doing a very good job. I'm constantly told how to discipline them or how to play with them or what i should do or rather stop doing. It's frustrating. I'm almost 30 and am being treated like I'm 10 at times. Take this week for instance. Monday when the ice first started coming down she called and told me to get the car seats ready so she could pick up the boys which normally isn't a huge deal but she they in the whole 'I don't want you driving on these roads it's not safe'. That's fine. You're probably thinking I'm crazy for letting that irritate me but you didn't hear the voice inflection used. It was an 'I don't think you can handle driving in this' tone of voice. Nevermind the fact that I've been driving my truck for over 11 years and have a fairly good idea of how it handles on just about any surface. Another thing that's a bit frustrating is a seeming lack of privacy, though I will admit that is getting better. She used to just barge in my room, without knocking, just to talk or ask a question. Something non-emergent. There was even one day where I was getting ready to take a shower, had already stripped, and was using the bathroom when she just walks in and starts putting hair color on my hair. Not kidding. I have an ash blonde streak now that will have to wait til spring break to be fixed but fortunately it's not overly obvious. Then there's the whole 'you're not going to lose any weight if you eat that' or 'we need to get you in shape so you can get a guy and we can get you married off' or 'you're on a diet' when I've never said that I was dieting. Argh. So. I really didn't mean for this to be all complaints but that's how it's turned out. Sometimes I just have to vent and get it all off my chest.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

thoughts ... ramblings realy

I don't understand God. Most of the time I don't feel the need to understand Him but after nites like last nite I find myself wondering 'why?' when it comes to the details of life. Like, why would He allow babies to be born to people who don't want them when there are people who try so hard to have kids and either can't or they have miscarriage after miscarriage? Or why not stop someone from shooting them self in the head but lets them live with half a brain and 100% dependent on others. Why is it not okay for some people to have a full life? I realize God made us with free will so we can make our own choices but even so. Why doesn't He stop us when we do something that's going to hurt ourselves or others?